The UK Sports Cars Showroom
1965 VW Split Screen Camper Van. Factory Right Hand Drive & UK Supplied. Original ‘Devon Caravette’ Bus. One of the best we have ever seen!
Built in the Hannover factory in Germany, this bus was supplied as a Right Hand Drive vehicle and delivered straight to Ramsgate in Kent, which is ironically, only a few miles away from the buses current location in our showroom. The bus was then transformed into the iconic ‘Devon Caravette’ camper van by J.P. White Ltd based in Sidmouth, Devon who alongside similar companies such as Westfalia & Dormobile are responsible for the Split Screen bus having its globally iconic ‘Camper Van’ image and reputation today. The Devon Caravette was a revolution that transformed what was originally designed to be a commercial vehicle into a fully functioning camper van and as such has become a well-recognised collectable icon amongst Volkswagen enthusiasts worldwide. These buses are more commonly known as ‘Devons’ and I can say for certain that this bus has the best surviving original Devon interior that we have ever come across. The bus comes with a thick history file detailing previous owners, old MOTs and service history dating back over 30 years which is a rare sight indeed. It also has its original VIN and M Code plate intact, which verify its authenticity and even confirm original specification options from new!
From the moment you poke your head into the rear of this bus, your senses will tingle, as you are time warped back to 1965, to an era when life had a far simpler tone. The smell of the woodwork is superb and the wonderful fragrance inside of the bus is what gives off the immediate 1960’s nostalgia. The headliner is completely original in factory perforated off white vinyl showing beautiful patina commensurate with its 54 years of service. The look and feel of a factory installed item that has survived in this condition for this length of time simply cannot be replicated and is a truly stunning feature, which would be sacrilege to replace.
The shell of the bus has been subject to quality restoration work that has been completed to a very high standard and most importantly of all, has been done sympathetically to ensure the original features of the bus have not been damaged in any way throughout the process. This is absolutely essential especially with regards to the interior, which forms the true soul of the vehicle and much care has been taken to ensure that this has been fully protected whilst restoration work has taken place. There is photographic evidence to show off all of the usual and expected areas that have been replaced with top quality panels including the front inner & outer valance, sills, rear lower arches, lower cargo door sections, cab floor etc. Anything that required repair has been replaced and then the bus has been carefully primed and fully resprayed in its year correct original colours; Velvet Green and Pearl White. The bodywork on this bus is absolutely superb showing all of the hallmark signs of a well cared for and cherished classic motor.
The mechanical setup on the bus has been reconditioned to preserve as much originality as possible with a few expensive and uprated items to help with modern roads such as a CSP vented front disc brake conversion kit for optimum braking performance, dropped spindles on the front for improved ride quality etc.
The original Devon interior is by far the best we have ever seen and I would go as far to say one of the best preserved original interiors in existence. The rare and original items that can fetch enormous amounts if sold off separately are still intact. This includes the original Dudley cooker which is double gas burner hidden discreetly in a side cupboard that has a folding / lifting metal shroud and a cooling shelf above (One of the best features and incredibly sought after). The original cooler box and shaving mirror are present as well as the famous Whale pump. The interior cushions have been tastefully reupholstered in 1960s style fabric and both original tables are present and even complete with all of their original screw in table legs so that they can be used inside or outside of the bus. The larger table is stowed below the rear overhead cabinet and also acts as a platform between the rear facing seats that allows the cushions to fold down into a conveniently sized double bed. This interior is simply stunning in every possible way, even the original Devon interior light works perfectly and all the original badges are intact.